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Day 35: Senate Approves FY 2023 Budget; House Approves "Unmask Georgia Students Act"

Senate Lawmakers Approve FY 2023 Budget

The Senate signed off on HB 911, which outlines the proposed budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. Senate budget writers made several changes to the House version of the budget including:

  • Adding $28 million to the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement for schools that demonstrate “Beat the Odds” and/or content mastery of third grade reading targets.

  • Reducing funding for several agricultural education programs, which had been added by the House.

  • Restoring $614,000 to the university system to support elementary education programs at Savannah State and Valdosta State, which had been eliminated by the House.

Senate lawmakers also proposed revising the funding mechanism for students in the Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Supports (GNETS) program. In the Senate proposal, state funds for these students would flow through the Quality Basic Education formula instead of through the GNETS program, which would be dissolved at the state level.

HB 911 now returns to the House, which will likely seek a conference committee to resolve the differences between its budget proposal and the budget passed by the Senate.

“Unmask Georgia Students Act” and Obscene Materials Bill Approved by House

After spirited debate on each bill, the House passed two education-related bills:

  • SB 226 by Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas), which requires local boards of education to adopt complaint resolution processes to address parent complaints of student access to obscene materials in schools.

  • SB 514, the “Unmask Georgia Students Act,” sponsored by Sen. Clint Dixon (R-Buford) on behalf of Gov. Brian Kemp. The legislation allows parents to opt out of local school mask requirements. The policy would sunset in 2027. When the bill was heard in committee, Dixon said that the governor would be able to override the policy in the future through executive order, should another major public health event occur.

Upcoming Schedule

Monday, March 28, Legislative Day 36

  • Senate Science & Technology Committee, 307 CLOB, 1 p.m.

  • Senate Education & Youth Committee, 307 CLOB, 3 p.m.

Tuesday, March 29, Legislative Day 37

Wednesday, March 30, Legislative Day 38


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